If you are a fan of ecotourism and enjoy diving you cannot miss this incredible and one-of-a-kind place in Brazil. No sea or mountain compares to Bonito: lots of rivers, waterfalls and indescribable trails!
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Bonito is a small town, and only 20 years ago started to explore the tourism. It already has good hotels, excellent tour guides and travel agencies.
The best thing is to look for a hotel or inn downtown, it is easier to move around and enjoy the tours the city offers. It is also easier to go out to dinner, visit the shops, go for a walk on the main avenue in the evening and have a great local fruit-flavored ice cream.
Most tours are in the countryside – well-maintained roads, some yet unpaved -, in farms with everything necessary to receive the tourists, like diving equipment, life jackets, restrooms, bar and restaurants with typical food.
It is worth checking the alligator meat and fish. Everything is tasty and inviting!
The travel agencies have tariff prices and transport available – vans or rentals with a driver. As far as I know they are all very professional. The tours usually take all day and the prices vary according to low or high season (check the WebPages). It is best to schedule the tours in advance, and stay at least five days in the city.
Do not miss the Blue Lake Cave (Gruta Lago Azul – I do not recommend it to elder people, the access is difficult), Rio da Prata, Rio Sucuri and Rio do Peixe.
Pay attention to the time zone, during some periods of the year Bonito is one hour ahead of Brasília time.
For those with difficulty in using the snorkel, I suggest a visit toBalneário Municipal, great to practice scuba diving safely.
There are direct flights to Bonito, a lot more expensive though. A good solution is to fly to Campo Grande (capital of Mato Grosso do Sul) and take a van from the airport to the hotel (schedule in advance by e-mail). It is tiring but it is money worth saving.
I traveled in low season – august 2011 – and really enjoyed it. The weather is nice and warm, and you do not have to wait long for the tours, because there are fewer people.
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Translated by Lúcia Maciel